Saturday, February 15, 2014

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: American And British Storms Are "HOLDING HANDS" Over The Atlantic Ocean - Systems That Wreaked Havoc On Two Continents Are COMBINING! [PHOTOS]

February 15, 2014 - ATLANTIC OCEAN - Devastating storms that have dumped as much as 40 inches of snow on parts of the United States and caused widespread flooding in the UK are combining over the Atlantic, weather experts have revealed.

Holding hands: A storm that dumped heavy snow and ice across the east coast of the United States this week is the very same weather system that battered southern parts of the UK on Friday, meteorologists have revealed in incredible satellite imagery.

Incredible satellite imagery from NASA's Worldview shows the monster storms swirling 'arm-in-arm' across the ocean.

The storms in the US have left 21 people dead and caused thousands of flights to be cancelled, bringing the east coast to a standstill.

Meanwhile, in Britain, heavy rain and winds up to 80 mph devastated parts of the south, aggravating areas already flooded after the wettest January since records began in 1776.

Floods have drenched the low-lying Somerset Levels in the south west and the Thames Valley west of London, where hundreds of properties have been swamped after the River Thames burst its banks.

The situation is also set to get worse as torrential downpours forecast for this weekend could see rivers reaching dangerously high levels.

Water up to here: A resident pulls a boat towards his house in a flooded street on Friday near Staines-Upon-Thames,
England. Flood water has remained high in some areas and high winds are causing disruption to
other parts of the UK with the Met Office issuing a red weather warning.

Deep snow: Motorists find themselves stranded in deep snow as blizzards trap their cars along a Pennines road
overnight Thursday. A number of cars became stuck during heavy snow and gale force winds on a road
between Cumbria and County Durham, England, and had to be rescued by a farmer.

Darkness at noon: The M27 passing Portsmouth was clothed in a near-black fog today.

Destruction: A tree which was uprooted in Chorlton, a suburb of Manchester, by high winds and storms.

Wild waves: Wind, rain and waves batter the Cornish village of Kingsand in England on Friday as the
environment agency warns hundreds more homes will be flooded this weekend

Snowed in: A parked vehicle is buried by snow on South High Street in Hanover, Pennsylvania on Friday.

The Thames Barrier, a structure made of 10 steel gates each weighing 3,300 tonnes that shields central London from tidal flooding, prevented widespread damage in the capital after the downpour.

This winter's rains saw the Thames record some of its highest levels for 60 years.

 On Wednesday, the UK Met Office, the country's weather service, issued a report that linked this winter's extreme weather to global warming.

The Atlantic storm system brought another bout of gale-force winds to Britain on Friday, with large waves battering coast lines and up to 1.6 inches of rain causing flood levels to rise.

As winds gusted at up to 80 mph, landslips and fallen trees caused havoc on the rail network, and some arriving flights were diverted from London's Heathrow to other airports amid fierce bouts of wind.

Motorists were also advised not to travel on the roads this weekend as families tried to escape the south during the half-term school break.

Peter Willison of the Environment Agency said Friday's rainfall would send waters on the Thames and other rivers even higher, flooding hundreds more properties.

He said it would be 'many days,' and possibly weeks, before flooded rivers receded.

Not all bad: Lucy Linton, left, and Amelia Linton, right, sled in the snow at Oval Park in Durham,
North Carolina on Friday.

Chilly Valentine's: People dig out vehicles buried in snow in downtown Albany, New York on Friday
after more snow was dumped on the Northeast.

Crash: Drivers stand outside of their cars as traffic is backed up following a multi-car and truck accident near the Bensalem interchange in Pennsylvania, February 14, 2014, caused by bad weather.

Brutal: Pedestrians cross the street through blowing snow near the state Capitol in Albany, New York. Schools are closed across a swath of eastern New York from the mid-Hudson Valley to the Albany area as the region starts to dig out from 12 to 20 inches of snow dumped by the latest winter storm

Treacherous driving conditions: Vehicles are piled up in an accident in Bensalem, Pennsylvania on Friday
after traffic accidents involving multiple tractor trailers and dozens of cars

UK authorities have asked Sweden and the Netherlands for additional flood defenses as teams work to remove blockages from rivers and deploying sandbags.

On Friday, Prince William and Prince Harry helped flood-hit Brions protect their homes, unloading sandbags alongside soldiers in the village of Datchet in Berkshire.

Meanwhile, the US is bracing for more snow in the Northeast between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, ruining the plans of people looking to take advantage of the President's Day weekend.

The relentless snow and ice storms battering the US this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since December 1, including more than 14,000 this week. - Daily Mail.

ICE AGE NOW: Relentless Winter Continues - Blizzard To Lash Eastern New England This Weekend; New Round Of Transportation Disruption Expected!

February 15, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Into the first part of the weekend, light to moderate snow will push from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic states, but a blizzard is forecast to develop in eastern New England.

The storm has the potential to bring a new round of ground and airline disruptions to parts of the South and East that were hit with the winter storm at midweek.

So far, the storm has been rather weak but it will gain strength Saturday afternoon. Friday and Friday night, the storm brought just enough snow to treat, shovel and plow from parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio to much of Kentucky and Tennessee.

The storm brought between 1 and 4 inches over a large part of Iowa and northern Missouri early on Friday. As it traveled across the Midwest on Friday afternoon and night, it brought slightly heavier accumulations to Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Astoria, Ill., was blanketed with 6 inches of fresh snow, as was Friendship, Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio, had around 5 inches fall.

On the southern edge of the storm, rain and also a wintry mix fell in parts of middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, northern Georgia, central North Carolina and central Virginia on Friday night.

A swath of snow will continue to affect parts of North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York during Saturday morning. A couple of inches could fall on parts of these states, with locally higher amounts. The snow could conceal patches of ice beneath.

Snow-covered roads will be an issue for any motorists with weekend travel plans.

Road conditions were deteriorating early on Saturday morning near
Pittsburgh, as shown in this traffic cam image from PennDOT

Motorists are advised to exercise caution Saturday morning along major interstates in the mid-Atlantic, including I-68, I-76, I-79, I-81, and I-95. The fresh snow and slush will make for slippery travel. Similar conditions in southeastern Pennsylvania early on Friday morning contributed to a multiple vehicle accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, north of Philadelphia.

This storm will strengthen upon nearing the coast. As this happens, more substantial snow-related problems may begin to unfold.

This new round of snow raises concerns of roof collapses across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic where wintry weather has been common recently. On Friday, the roof of the studio of WGAL Channel 8 in Lancaster, Pa., partially caved in due to the weight of the snow and ice, according to Lancaster Online.

A shield of snow will expand throughout Saturday, first stretching along the Appalachians and then expanding into the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C. to New York City. Several inches of snow should fall across much of this area by Saturday afternoon.

As an area of low pressure strengthens off the coast, heavier snow will develop in much of New England by Saturday night. Rapidly deteriorating conditions are expected from Long Island through Maine.

How much strengthening the storm does just offshore will determine how much snow falls and how strong winds get over Long Island, southeastern New England and the Maritimes. Odds favor windswept snow to develop in part of this area, if not a full-blown blizzard. This includes the city of Boston and Cape Cod, Mass., to coastal Maine.

Major cities that have the best chance at receiving a period or two of accumulating snow from the new storm include Pittsburgh, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Updates on this storm will continue on

Despite the piling on nature of the storms of late, there is light at the end of the tunnel for warm weather fans and parents dealing with loss of work when kids have an excess number of snow days.

Steering-level winds will shift later next week allowing warmer air now building over the Southwest to expand northward and eastward.

The upcoming pattern will deliver a thaw. In addition to the release of winter's grip in many areas, concerns for ice jam flooding may be raised. - AccuWeather.

EXTREME WEATHER: Strong And Deadly Winds Pummel Britain - Cruise Ship Passenger Killed When "Freak Wave Breaks Windows And Taxi Driver Crushed To Death In Windstorm!

February 15, 2014 - UNITED KINGDOM - Strong winds that pummeled Britain killed a taxi driver, whose car was crushed by falling chunks of masonry from a building, and an elderly man who died after a "freak wave" struck a cruise ship in the English Channel, officials said Saturday. Another 15 cruise ship passengers were injured.

A smashed up car is seen in Kingsway opposite Holborn Tube station in central London, after a woman was killed
when large chunks of masonry fell onto a Skoda Octavia vehicle she was in, London, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014.
Photo: Laura Lean, AP

The taxi driver was killed late Friday in central London near Holborn subway station when part of a building collapsed during a windstorm, police said. She was identified as Julie Sillitoe, a 49-year-old with three sons.

Her passengers, a man and woman, were hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, police said. The car wasn't moving at the time of the building collapse and the female passenger managed to free herself from the rear of the vehicle.

A fourth person, believed to be a male pedestrian, also was injured and taken to a hospital, ambulance officials said. About 10 people were evacuated from nearby buildings as a precaution.

The 85-year-old cruise ship passenger died after 80 mph (130 kph) wind gusts kicked up giant waves in the English Channel on Friday afternoon, endangering safety in the crowded shipping lanes used by commercial vessels, cruise ships and pleasure craft. Cruise and Maritime Voyages said a "freak wave" broke five windows on its Marco Polo cruise ship, inundating the ship's Waldorf Restaurant.

The taxi driver was killed late Friday in central London opposite Holborn subway station during a heavy windstorm when her car was crushed by falling masonry from a building that partially collapsed, police said. Photo: Laura Lean, AP

She was identified as Julie Sillitoe, a 49-year-old with three sons. Photo: Laura Lean, AP

Spokesman Paul Foster said the man died before he could be airlifted for emergency treatment. The cause of death hasn't been determined, he said.

The company said a second passenger was airlifted and is being treated for injuries not thought to be life-threatening. Another 14 passengers were treated on board for minor injuries, the company said.

The Marco Polo was carrying 735 mostly British passengers and 349 crew members when the wave struck. It had been returning to its home port of London Tilbury after a 42-day cruise to the Azores.

The army rescued 30 people from a seafront restaurant in Hampshire, southwest of London, after high winds blew a shingle through its windows, allowing floodwaters in.

Officials said 22 severe flood warnings are in place, meaning lives are in danger in those areas. More heavy rain and winds are expected Saturday.

In Hertfordshire, north of London, residents of 17 homes were evacuated Saturday after a 20-foot (65-foot) deep sinkhole developed overnight on a quiet residential street. - Greenwich Time.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Very Rare, Strong And Shallow 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Georgia And South Carolina - Shook Homes And Rattled Residents; Felt Hundreds Of Miles Away!

February 15, 2014 - SOUTH CAROLINA/GEORGIA, UNITED STATES - A small earthquake shook South Carolina and Georgia late Friday, shaking homes and rattling residents hundreds of miles away.

USGS earthquake location.

The quake happened at 10:23 p.m. EST and had a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website. It was centered 7 miles west of the town of Edgefield, S.C. , and was felt as far west as Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, N.C., each about 150 miles away.

"It's a large quake for that area," said USGS geophysicist Dale Grant. "It was felt all over the place."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported two nearby dams on the Savannah River appeared to be undamaged, but planned a thorough inspection Saturday morning, Edgefield County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Casey said.

USGS earthquake shakemap intensity.

USGS earthquake uncertainty ration map.

Casey said the quake was centered in a sparsely populated part of Edgefield County where there are a lot more rabbits and deer than people. He was driving around and hadn't found any damage, but he expects some reports of minor damages to come in once the sun rises.

"To get an accurate assessment we're going to need daylight. I could be looking at damage in the dark and not know it. Tomorrow morning, I go out to get my paper and I see the bricks in my house are cracked," Casey said.

Authorities across South Carolina said their 911 centers were inundated with calls of people reporting what they thought were explosions or plane crashes as the quake's low rumble spread across the state.

Reports surfaced on Twitter of a leaking water tower in Augusta, Ga., following the quake, but the tower was damaged by ice from a winter storm earlier this week and not the quake, said Richmond County Sheriff's Lt. Tangela McCorkle.

USGS earthquake  intensity map.

USGS earthquake distance vs intensity plot graph.

No damages or injuries from the quake itself had been reported, said South Carolina Emergency Management Division spokesman Derrec Becker. The ice storm felled a lot of trees in the area, which could make it more difficult to determine what damage was caused by the quake.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley felt the earthquake at the governor's mansion in Columbia. She asked the Department of Transportation to inspect bridges in the area Saturday morning as a precaution, said her spokesman Doug Mayer.

Tom Clements, a resident of suburban Columbia about 60 miles east of the quake's epicenter, said he felt the walls of his brick house shaking "and they were definitely shaking like what I've experienced before in Latin America" during an earthquake.

Clements said he immediately went outside to see if anyone else had felt it and he found two neighbors who had.

WATCH: USGS Geophysicist Dale Grant talks about Edgefield earthquake.

"One thought a tree had fallen" under the weight of ice dumped by the storm, he said.

Earthquakes aren't unheard of in the region. A 4.3-magnitude earthquake happened in Georgia in August 1974 several miles west of Friday's quake. Three others of similar magnitude have been felt in South Carolina in the past 40 years, according to the USGS.

The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast was a 7.3-magnitude quake near Charleston in August 1886 that killed at least 60 people. - ABC News.

Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Inland Carolinas Region
Since at least 1776, people living inland in North and South Carolina, and in adjacent parts of Georgia and Tennessee, have felt small earthquakes and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916. Moderately damaging earthquakes strike the inland Carolinas every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt about once each year or two.

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).


Earthquakes everywhere occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep. Most bedrock beneath the inland Carolinas was assembled as continents collided to form a supercontinent about 500-300 million years ago, raising the Appalachian Mountains. Most of the rest of the bedrock formed when the supercontinent rifted apart about 200 million years ago to form what are now the northeastern U.S., the Atlantic Ocean, and Europe.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the San Andreas fault system in California, often scientists can determine the name of the specific fault that is responsible for an earthquake. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case. The inland Carolinas region is far from the nearest plate boundaries, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea. The region is laced with known faults but numerous smaller or deeply buried faults remain undetected. Even the known faults are poorly located at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few, if any, earthquakes in the inland Carolinas can be linked to named faults. It is difficult to determine if a known fault is still active and could slip and cause an earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rockies, the best guide to earthquake hazards in the seismic zone is the earthquakes themselves. - USGS.